A programme of public events, tours and workshops funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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Welcome to Experiencing Britain’s Ruins

Experiencing Britain’s Ruins: Revenants and Remains at Five Northern English Religious Houses is an exciting programme of public events, tours, workshops and other activities that has been generously funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement award (AH/W004399/1).

The research that informs the project was originally funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship (AH/M00600X/1) entitled Writing Britain’s Ruins, 1700–1850: The Architectural Imagination, a multi-faceted exploration of the links between literature and architecture in the long eighteenth century. Based at the University of Stirling and Manchester Metropolitan University between June 2015 and January 2017, this research project was led by Prof. Dale Townshend and supported by Dr Peter N. Lindfield, Dr Michael Carter and a range of other scholars and organisations from across the UK.

Experiencing Britain’s Ruins seeks to apply the fruits of this historical research to the modern-day heritage sector, and involves a year-long collaboration between Prof. Dale Townshend of the Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Michael Carter, Senior Properties Historian at English Heritage; Dr Dominique Bouchard, English Heritage’s Head of Learning and Interpretation; award-winning novelist, poet and performer Rosie Garland; and Robert Lloyd Parry of Nunkie Productions, teller of ghost stories extraordinaire.

Together, we seek to enrich the ‘experience’ of the ruins of five religious houses in the north of England that are currently in English Heritage’s care, namely:

Byland Abbey,North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire

Furness Abbey, Cumbria

Roche Abbey, South Yorkshire

Lanercost Priory, Cumbria

Our working assumption is that the modern-day visitor’s experience of these and other such ruins across Britain may be significantly enhanced through the theme of ‘Revenants and Remains’.